I hadn’t heard of Jubensha until a few days ago, but Jubensha script murder games are a kind of Chinese murder mystery game – and they’re huge!
Here’s the video that introduced them to me. (You don’t need to watch the whole thing – the first five or ten minutes give you a pretty good idea of what jubensha involves.)
If you’ve watched that, you’re probably thinking the same thing I am: Jubensha murder games are just like Freeform Games murder mystery games.
There’s a murder to solve, but there are other things to do as well. Everyone has their own character, it’s unscripted, and it’s up to everyone how they try to achieve their goals. Plus there’s an independent person running the game.
There are three big differences that I can see:
- First, while there are now lots of boxed products you can purchase (albeit in Chinese), it seemed they started in jubensha rooms – a kind of cross between one of our games and an escape room.
- Second, we design our games for a wide range of players. If the video is anything to go by, most Jubensha are for six players. (We only have a couple of games that small.)
- Third, the murder is more structured in jubensha than in our games. (Some characters in our games may not be interested in the murder at all.)
One point the video makes is how good jubensha is at introducing people who don’t know each other. I’m not great in large groups where I don’t know people, but that’s never been a problem in this kind of game, as you’re given plenty to talk about.
I think our games are probably Jubensha-adjacent. There are a lot of similarities – and if you think you might enjoy Jubensha, you’d probably enjoy one of our games.
So if you’re looking for a Jubensha-adjacent game, here are some suggestions:
A Will to Murder: A 1930s murder mystery game for 6 to 9 guests and a host. Set in an English country house, the patriarch of a wealthy family is dead – who murdered him? And who will inherit his fortune? Recommended for ages 18+.
Murder on the Istanbul Express: A 1914 murder mystery game set aboard the luxurious Istanbul Express for 7 to 11 guests and one host. Characters include the train crew, merchants, inventors – and spies! Recommended for ages 12+.
Dazzled to Death: A 1948 murder mystery game for 12 to 15 guests and a host. Blackmail, theft and betrayal a glittering Massachusetts cocktail party. (Includes, free of charge, a Christmas version.) Recommended for ages 15+.
Or see our full list of games here.